A Sound of Thunder

This may sound really stupid, but here goes:

We use the words “lightning” and “thunder,” and those words so separate a single incredible act that I don’t know that I have really clear, visceral sense of what it is going on.

I just tend to think “oh, flash: lightning,” “oh, rumble: thunder.” And I appreciate them, but I’m not sure I’ve appreciated them enough.

Because what’s going on, each time, is a static electric discharge from the sky that is so large that the arc can light up the whole sky, and so loud that it can be heard (and rattle windows) from even miles away.

One after another after another of those. For up to an hour or more. As often as two or three times a week or more during the heaviest season around here. They’re really pretty commonplace events.

I realize that, my whole life, I have not been nearly so amazed by that phenomenon as it is actually amazing. It’s really amazing.

via Matt Willmott.

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